I love bell peppers. Usually I just cut them up and use them as part of a recipe, but this time I wanted to make them the focus of the meal, so I decided to try stuffing them. I looked around on the Food Network’s site and found this creation from Emeril was one of its top-rated recipes.
Because I was only cooking for myself, I made two stuffed peppers instead of the full six the original recipe makes. I also used red peppers instead of green, and ground turkey instead of ground beef and ground pork because that’s what I had. Plus, I love the sweetness of red peppers. That’s what’s great about this recipe: it’s easy to customize it to your taste.
The peppers are firm enough to hold up through the baking process, but soft enough to cut through. Mine were still slightly crunchy after they came out of the oven, which provided more texture to the dish.
One stuffed pepper is filling, but not in the I-just-ate-way-too-much-macaroni-and-cheese way. There’s a lot of good stuff in these peppers, so you can enjoy them and maybe even look forward to the leftovers.
2 red bell peppers, tops cut away and seeds removed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/4 cup finely chopped red peppers
1/3 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
2/3 cup cooked long or medium-grain white rice
3 ounces tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on paper towels.
In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and chopped bell peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the turkey, garlic, parsley, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Cook until the meat is browned, stirring with a heavy wooden spoon to break up the lumps, about 6 minutes. Add the rice and tomato sauce and stir well. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Pour enough water into a baking dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8-inch deep. Stuff the bell peppers with the rice mixture and place in the baking dish. Bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.